Lingerie Friday: Lilac Lace

This has been a relatively quiet Christmas season in our house, all the better because January is going to be a very full month. I’ve been spending the last week or so finishing up some creative projects so my brain and sewing area is clear for the coming new year! For today’s Lingerie Friday I thought it’d be fun to share one of my latest sets with a bra based on one of the patterns I’m using in the sew-along.

lilac lace bra

I love the hunt for nice laces and good elastic. Some of my favorite lingerie notions have come from the remotest corners of the internet–usually not a well-designed web 2.0 shop that blings “Lingerie Supplies”! I’m a ninja googler. Still, it’s always nice to find something locally, and I did on a recent adventure to Texstyles, a newish fabric store in South Austin. It’s a tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it storefront simply labeled “FABRIC” with a screenprinted banner. Next to a breakfast taco van–a pretty good sign, as just about everything great in Austin is within reach of a breakfast taco. (It’s all about the salsa!)

Texstyles might be teeny and obtuse but it’s crammed with apparel fabrics–silks, knits, wools, a little bit of everything. And there there were all the baskets of elastic and lace trims in the window. I was encouraged to “just dump them out and find what you need and if you don’t, write it down and I’ll find it for you!” I like that kind of thinking, sort of like having a personal shopper for the L.A. downtown fabric district, which is where they visit monthly for their stock. Among all the reasonably priced baskets of elasticated goods I found a few bra trims and this delicate and very soft lilac stretch lace fabric.

The lace was perfect for a pair of ladyshorts and some other knickers but I also wanted to see if it could turn into a pretty bra as well.

lilac lace set

The undies are a new pattern I’ve drafted. I’ve fallen a little in love with high-waisted knickers with panel designs, and I wanted this one to be entirely seamless except for the panel. I still have some pattern tweaks to work out and I’m not so hot about that big picot elastic, a little too frou for my taste, but it was a good trial run.

lilac-bra-display

lilac-bra-form2

When I first made the Pin-up Girls pattern, it was hard to see past the plain and what I thought was old-fashioned look of the bra on the envelope. But I’ve found it’s incredibly easy to alter the pattern to something closer to my style or a more contemporary aesthetic. I’ve made several bras using the Pin-up pattern more or less as a block–many of which I haven’t blogged about. In my experience most important part of any bra pattern starts with the fit of the bra band, underwire and cradle. The cup style is pretty easy to modify. On this bra I made a pretty basic change by widening the strap placement and changing the cups’ side shaping for more underarm coverage. On me, the result looks closer to the demi bras I am used to wearing.

There are a lot of different ways to finish off the top of a cup and you can see on this one there is no trim or scalloped edge, but a clean finish to the edge. The cup is fully lined in sheer tricot for stability and to keep that edge from stretching out, I stitched in some narrow clear elastic to the seam allowance. It’s very invisible and feels really soft when I’m wearing it.

As you can probably tell from my previous lingerie posts, I’m always looking for fun ways to shoot lingerie. When I lay them flat on a surface, it’s hard to see details and tell what kind of form they have. When they’re hanging against a backlight, you can revel in the light and sheer. On my booty mannequin, you get a feeling for how they take shape. (Not that I have this shape, and I prefer to save these secrets for my man, but it’s close enough!)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Christmas. We’re off to the *shudder with cold* midwest to visit my family!

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Comments

  1. Michelle L December 22, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    Did you know there was no such thing as a “muffin top” when all women wore high waisted knickers, they give a lovely line under most clothing,and its a bonus when they are as pretty as these. I’ve started collecting a few bits and pieces to give lingerie sewing a go in the new year.Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Naomi December 22, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    What a pretty lingerie set. This is so inspiring. I can only hope my January sew along is as successful and produces such nice results. Merry Christmas from Minnesota!

  3. Ginger December 22, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Oh, Amy, this is so, so pretty! I’m in love! Nice job, girl!

    Merry Christmas! Hope you enjoy your time in the Midwest! I’m in Chicago visiting family, and I keep concocting reasons why hubs needs to walk the dogs instead of me (It’s in the teens here! Way too cold for me!). Stay warm out there! :)

  4. Kemish December 22, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    A beautiful lingerie set. I think you photograph them very well. Looking forward to the Bra Sew Along, too. Happy Holidays :-)

  5. Andrea December 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Hope you are staying warm in the cold midwest! I’ve nominated you for an inspirational blog award, please see my post today for details. :-)

  6. Maddie December 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Isn’t it amazing how hole-in-the-walls turn out to be hidden gems!? No matter what city, country, or town, they are there!

    The lace bra and undie are lovely, as per usual. I’m with you on the picot elastic – a little too frou frou – but that’s what is great about lingerie – you can whip up and experiment in no time!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

  7. Stephanie December 31, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Wondering about the frou frou elastic: would silk charmeuse with spandex do the trick as a trim? I was just thinking about that almost electric purple stretch silk with the pale lilac and how I like those flat trims on updated utilitarian/vintage underthings that always manage to look so sophisticatedly modern (especially on the expensive stuff). I know little about fabric so educate me!

    • Amy January 3, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      Hey Stephanie, on the stretch purple bra, I used a lingerie elastic called “piping elastic”. It has what looks like a little satin rolled edge to it and I really like this stuff because it’s soft and somewhat unnoticeable. If you look at your bras, you will notice a majority of them use some form of picot elastic but the “picots” are really tiny. As a trim, silk with spandex won’t do the job to hold up the band of a bra, but it might be nice in other places. I have seen silk charmeuse as trim in bras but they are made like a tube and there is elastic inside the tube. I know what you’re talking about, though, re the utilitarian look–VPL and Stella McCartney both do a lot of cool things with elastic but some of those elastics are impossible to find at retail.

  8. dixie January 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    i just went to texstyles the other day to buy some stretch edge elastic to use for the ladyshorts pattern (i just bought stuff for the edges ’cause i wanted to use up my jersey scraps)

    as usual, lovely bra and undies! i like how you altered the shape of the cups, i agree, the original pattern is kind of old lady-ish and i’m used to more demi styles.

    • Amy January 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      Cool! I’ve made a few pairs out of jersey–super comfy.

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